Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Review: Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Someone We Know
by Shari Lapena
Release Date: May 12th 2020
2020 Penguin
Trade Paperback; 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-0525557678
ASIN: B07N5J2H92
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Psychological
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses--and into the owners' computers as well--learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they're telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it's not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

My Thoughts
Someone We Know was an interesting thriller with a couple of nifty twists that I didn't see coming.  I was not a fan of The Woman in the Window and The Girl on The Train (which drove me away from any books that even sounded like those), and I definitely did not like An Unwanted Guest (by this author) , so when I saw this was another book about bad neighbours, I was a bit apprehensive.  However, this bad neighbour book was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

First of all, I really enjoyed the characters.  Yes, they were all dysfunctional to some extent, but I thought they were all interesting in their own way. The voice you heard from the most was Olivia, and though I wanted to strangle her half the time as she was so oblivious to everything around her, it was fascinating to see things through her eyes as she became more aware of things that were going on in her own neighbourhood, and even within her own family dynamics.  A bit self-centred, she really needed to open her eyes to her neighbours and the shenanigans that were going on and I enjoyed the journey she went on.  It was interesting to see her realize the neighbourhood she thought was so perfect was anything but.  Many of the characters were annoying as hell, but fascinating because of that.  The whole, you never know what goes on behind closed doors, really fits well here.

The plot was told in multiple POVs, but we hear from Olivia the most and so many things are revealed bit by bit, like an onion peeling its layers.  It's actually quite skilfully done and I admire the author for her skill in doing so.  This isn't a difficult read, I read it in a few hours, but sometimes it's nice to sink your teeth into something that twists and turns like this and is fun.  It's one of those books where as soon as the police think they have a good lead and pull someone in for questioning, something major comes up, more secrets get spilled, and suddenly we have another reason for why someone else may have wanted Amanda dead.  Eventually you realize the entire neighbourhood is hiding things from each other, indiscretions are happening everywhere, and people are covering for others because they are afraid for them.  And people thought they lived a nice, quiet neighbourhood.  

Someone We Know is perhaps my favourite book by this author so far.  Lots of twists and turns with an ending I really liked.  I wish there had been more character development on a couple of characters as they were pretty interesting and we didn't learn a lot about them. I thought the writing pulled all the elements together at the end.  I definitely preferred this one over some of her other books. 


  1. sounds like the author redeemed herself in your eyes and this is one i might like too. i love dysfunctional characters, finding them more interesting because of their dysfunctions
    sherry @ fundinmental